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Sökning: WFRF:(Ferreira Manuel)

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  • Proletov, Ian, et al. (författare)
  • Primary and secondary glomerulonephritides 1.
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association. - Oxford University Press. - 1460-2385. ; 29 Suppl 3:May, s. 186-200
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)
  • Adams, Charleen, et al. (författare)
  • Circulating Metabolic Biomarkers of Screen-Detected Prostate Cancer in the ProtecT Study.
  • 2018
  • Ingår i: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. - 1055-9965 .- 1538-7755.
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Whether associations between circulating metabolites and prostate cancer are causal is unknown. We report on the largest study of metabolites and prostate cancer (2,291 cases and 2,661 controls) and appraise causality for a subset of the prostate cancer-metabolite associations using two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR).MATERIALS AND METHODS: The case-control portion of the study was conducted in nine UK centres with men aged 50-69 years who underwent prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer within the Prostate testing for cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial. Two data sources were used to appraise causality: a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of metabolites in 24,925 participants and a GWAS of prostate cancer in 44,825 cases and 27,904 controls within the Association Group to Investigate Cancer Associated Alterations in the Genome (PRACTICAL) consortium.RESULTS: Thirty-five metabolites were strongly associated with prostate cancer (p <0.0014, multiple-testing threshold). These fell into four classes: i) lipids and lipoprotein subclass characteristics (total cholesterol and ratios, cholesterol esters and ratios, free cholesterol and ratios, phospholipids and ratios, and triglyceride ratios); ii) fatty acids and ratios; iii) amino acids; iv) and fluid balance. Fourteen top metabolites were proxied by genetic variables, but MR indicated these were not causal.CONCLUSIONS: We identified 35 circulating metabolites associated with prostate cancer presence, but found no evidence of causality for those 14 testable with MR. Thus, the 14 MR-tested metabolites are unlikely to be mechanistically important in prostate cancer risk.IMPACT: The metabolome provides a promising set of biomarkers that may aid prostate cancer classification.
  • Barack, Leor, et al. (författare)
  • Black holes, gravitational waves and fundamental physics : a roadmap
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Classical and quantum gravity. - 0264-9381. ; 36:14
  • Forskningsöversikt (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The grand challenges of contemporary fundamental physics dark matter, dark energy, vacuum energy, inflation and early universe cosmology, singularities and the hierarchy problem all involve gravity as a key component. And of all gravitational phenomena, black holes stand out in their elegant simplicity, while harbouring some of the most remarkable predictions of General Relativity: event horizons, singularities and ergoregions. The hitherto invisible landscape of the gravitational Universe is being unveiled before our eyes: the historical direct detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration marks the dawn of a new era of scientific exploration. Gravitational-wave astronomy will allow us to test models of black hole formation, growth and evolution, as well as models of gravitational-wave generation and propagation. It will provide evidence for event horizons and ergoregions, test the theory of General Relativity itself, and may reveal the existence of new fundamental fields. The synthesis of these results has the potential to radically reshape our understanding of the cosmos and of the laws of Nature. The purpose of this work is to present a concise, yet comprehensive overview of the state of the art in the relevant fields of research, summarize important open problems, and lay out a roadmap for future progress. This write-up is an initiative taken within the framework of the European Action on 'Black holes, Gravitational waves and Fundamental Physics'.
  • de Jong, Simone, et al. (författare)
  • Applying polygenic risk scoring for psychiatric disorders to a large family with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder
  • 2018
  • Ingår i: Communications Biology. - Nature Publishing Group. - 2399-3642. ; 1
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Psychiatric disorders are thought to have a complex genetic pathology consisting of interplay of common and rare variation. Traditionally, pedigrees are used to shed light on the latter only, while here we discuss the application of polygenic risk scores to also highlight patterns of common genetic risk. We analyze polygenic risk scores for psychiatric disorders in a large pedigree (n ~ 260) in which 30% of family members suffer from major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. Studying patterns of assortative mating and anticipation, it appears increased polygenic risk is contributed by affected individuals who married into the family, resulting in an increasing genetic risk over generations. This may explain the observation of anticipation in mood disorders, whereby onset is earlier and the severity increases over the generations of a family. Joint analyses of rare and common variation may be a powerful way to understand the familial genetics of psychiatric disorders.
  • Ferreira, Joao Pedro, et al. (författare)
  • Thin slices of interaction : predicting users' task difficulty within 60 sec
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: Proceedings CHI '12 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. - ACM Press. - 978-1-4503-1016-1 ; s. 171-180
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • We report on an exploratory study where the first 60 seconds of the video recording of a user interaction are used to predict the user’s experienced task difficulty. This approach builds on previous work on “thin slices” of human-human behavior, and applies it to human- computer interaction. In the scenario of interacting with a photocopy machine, automated video coding showed that the Activity and Emphasis predicted 46.6% of the variance of task difficulty. This result closely follows reported results on predicting negotiation outcomes from conversational dynamics using similar variables on the speech signal.
  • Woodward, Guy, et al. (författare)
  • Continental-scale effects of nutrient pollution on stream ecosystem functioning
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: Science. - 0036-8075. ; 336:6087, s. 1438-1440
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Excessive nutrient loading is a major threat to aquatic ecosystems worldwide that leads to profound changes in aquatic biodiversity and biogeochemical processes. Systematic quantitative assessment of functional ecosystem measures for river networks is, however, lacking, especially at continental scales. Here, we narrow this gap by means of a pan-European field experiment on a fundamental ecosystem process—leaf-litter breakdown—in 100 streams across a greater than 1000-fold nutrient gradient. Dramatically slowed breakdown at both extremes of the gradient indicated strong nutrient limitation in unaffected systems, potential for strong stimulation in moderately altered systems, and inhibition in highly polluted streams. This large-scale response pattern emphasizes the need to complement established structural approaches (such as water chemistry, hydrogeomorphology, and biological diversity metrics) with functional measures (such as litter-breakdown rate, whole-system metabolism, and nutrient spiraling) for assessing ecosystem health.
  • Abreu, Barbara, et al. (författare)
  • Gemini surfactants as efficient dispersants of multiwalled carbon nanotubes : Interplay of molecular parameters on nanotube dispersibility and debundling
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. - ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE. - 0021-9797. ; 547, s. 69-77
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Surfactants have been widely employed to debundle, disperse and stabilize carbon nanotubes in aqueous solvents. Yet, a thorough understanding of the dispersing mechanisms at molecular level is still warranted. Herein, we investigated the influence of the molecular structure of gemini surfactants on the dispersibility of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs). We used dicationic n-s-n gemini surfactants, varying n and s, the number of alkyl tail and alkyl spacer carbons, respectively; for comparisons, single-tailed surfactant homologues were also studied. Detailed curves of dispersed MWNT concentration vs. surfactant concentration were obtained through a stringently controlled experimental procedure, allowing for molecular insight. The gemini are found to be much more efficient dispersants than their single-tailed homologues, i.e. lower surfactant concentration is needed to attain the maximum dispersed MWNT concentration. In general, the spacer length has a comparatively higher influence on the dispersing efficiency than the tail length. Further, scanning electron microscopy imaging shows a sizeable degree of MWNT debundling by the gemini surfactants in the obtained dispersions. Our observations also point to an adsorption process that does not entail the formation of micelle-like aggregates on the nanotube surface, but rather coverage by individual molecules, among which the ones that seem to be able to adapt best to the nanotube surface provide the highest efficiency. These studies are relevant for the rational design and choice of optimal dispersants for carbon nanomaterials and other similarly water-insoluble materials.
  • Albrecht, Eva, et al. (författare)
  • Telomere length in circulating leukocytes is associated with lung function and disease
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: European Respiratory Journal. - 0903-1936 .- 1399-3003. ; 43:4, s. 983-992
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Several clinical studies suggest the involvement of premature ageing processes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Using an epidemiological approach, we studied whether accelerated ageing indicated by telomere length, a marker of biological age, is associated with COPD and asthma, and whether intrinsic age-related processes contribute to the interindividual variability of lung function. Our meta-analysis of 14 studies included 934 COPD cases with 15 846 controls defined according to the Global Lungs Initiative (GLI) criteria (or 1189 COPD cases according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criteria), 2834 asthma cases with 28 195 controls, and spirometric parameters (forced expiratory volume in is (FEV1), forced vital capacity (PVC) and FEV1/FVC) of 12 595 individuals. Associations with telomere length were tested by linear regression, adjusting for age, sex and smoking status. We observed negative associations between telomere length and asthma (beta= -0.0452, p= 0.024) as well as COPD (beta= -0.0982, p=0.001), with associations being stronger and more significant when using GLI criteria than those of GOLD. In both diseases, effects were stronger in females than males. The investigation of spirometric indices showed positive associations between telomere length and FEV1 (p=1.07 x 10(-7)), FVC (p=2.07 x 10(-5)), and FEV1/FVC (p =5.27 x 10(-3)). The effect was somewhat weaker in apparently healthy subjects than in COPD or asthma patients. Our results provide indirect evidence for the hypothesis that cellular senescence may contribute to the pathogenesis of COPD and asthma, and that lung function may reflect biological ageing primarily due to intrinsic processes, which are likely to be aggravated in lung diseases.
  • Boyero, Luz, et al. (författare)
  • Riparian plant litter quality increases with latitude
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Scientific Reports. - Nature Publishing Group. - 2045-2322. ; 7
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Plant litter represents a major basal resource in streams, where its decomposition is partly regulated by litter traits. Litter-trait variation may determine the latitudinal gradient in decomposition in streams, which is mainly microbial in the tropics and detritivore-mediated at high latitudes. However, this hypothesis remains untested, as we lack information on large-scale trait variation for riparian litter. Variation cannot easily be inferred from existing leaf-trait databases, since nutrient resorption can cause traits of litter and green leaves to diverge. Here we present the first global-scale assessment of riparian litter quality by determining latitudinal variation (spanning 107 degrees) in litter traits (nutrient concentrations; physical and chemical defences) of 151 species from 24 regions and their relationships with environmental factors and phylogeny. We hypothesized that litter quality would increase with latitude (despite variation within regions) and traits would be correlated to produce 'syndromes' resulting from phylogeny and environmental variation. We found lower litter quality and higher nitrogen: phosphorus ratios in the tropics. Traits were linked but showed no phylogenetic signal, suggesting that syndromes were environmentally determined. Poorer litter quality and greater phosphorus limitation towards the equator may restrict detritivore-mediated decomposition, contributing to the predominance of microbial decomposers in tropical streams.
  • Comba, Valentina, et al. (författare)
  • A Benchmarking Exercise for Quality Blended Learning. A Challenge for European Universities in the 21st Century
  • 2010
  • Ingår i: [Host publication title missing]. - EADTU.
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • This paper shares the experiences of 5 universities involved in a benchmarking exercise on e-learning in 2009 through ESMU. A total of 9 European universities participated in the exercise with the purpose of evaluating their existing e-learning practices and policies and getting advice on which areas to improve and how. Initially, the paper discusses the benchmarking concept and reasons why institutions should engage in benchmarking exercises. Benchmarking is viewed as a method for quality assurance and enhancement in higher education. Self-assessment is involved at the participating institutions, which leads to a high level of awareness and understanding of existing practices and policies at different levels of the organisation. Benchmarking is thus an efficient self-improvement tool. In chapter two, the planning of the benchmarking exercise is outlined. A combination of an individual, collaborative and expert approach to benchmarking was chosen. Chapter three deals with the creation of the benchmarking questionnaire which was a collaborative effort between all nine participating universities, ESMU and EADTU. Taking their starting point in the online E-xellence benchmarking tool developed by EADTU, participants reformulated, deleted and added benchmarks within the following six categories: Strategic management, curriculum design, course design, course delivery, staff support and student support. An effort was made to translate the E-xellence questions to the blended learning context of the participating universities. The internal data collection and formulation of responses are accounted for in chapter 4 which also contains reflections on the challenges and benefits of the selected approaches. Chapter five presents the overall conclusions of the benchmarking exercise within each of the six benchmark categories. The final chapter discusses and provides examples of how participants can use the benchmarking results to improve existing practices and policies and outlines potential external collaboration opportunities between participants.
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